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McCormick Talks to NewsNation About Mexico’s New President, Ability to Deal With Drug Cartels

June 14, 2024


Gladys McCormick

Gladys McCormick

Claudia Sheinbaum was elected as the first female president in Mexico’s 200-year history last week, signaling a major political and cultural shift, but many fear nothing will change when it comes to Mexican leadership’s ability to deal with powerful organized criminal organizations.

Sheinbaum will take office Oct. 1, replacing outgoing president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose hands-off approach to dealing with Mexico’s drug cartels was often viewed as being largely ineffective.

Gladys McCormick, Jay and Debe Moskowitz Endowed Chair in Mexico-U.S. Relations, says because cartels have become so much more dangerous and diversified than when Obrador took office in 2018, Sheinbaum faces a much bigger obstacle in challenging the cartels’ authority.

McCormick says that because of Sheinbaum’s loyalty to López Obrador, the incoming president’s effectiveness in dealing with security issues linked to cartel organizations may be limited. While López Obrador’s popularity allowed him to thrive politically, Sheinbaum will need to cope with the same issues facing Mexico’s residents but in her own way.

“When she comes in, she is inheriting this mess, but she doesn’t necessarily have the charisma that (López Obrador) does,” McCormick says. “So it’s going to be a tall ask.”

Read more in the NewsNation article, “Can Mexico’s new president curtail powerful drug cartels?

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